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When is Humanity Going to Get That We’re All in This Together?

Archive for the ‘Romans’ Category

Who Would Jesus Bomb?

Posted by honestpoet on September 16, 2008

Here’s an excellent bit from The Huffington Post about the difference between Obama and Oh Bomb ‘Em (I mean McCain) and their approach to foreign relations. Robert McElvaine asks the very good question, “Who’s the Christian?” The answer is clearly “Obama.” And he makes the point that those who’d bomb first, ask questions later should really be called “Constantinians”:

Emperor Constantine is usually said to have converted the Roman Empire to Christianity. What he actually did was convert Christianity to the Roman Empire. He gave Jesus the fourth century equivalent of a shot of anabolic steroids and transformed the Prince of Peace into the Prince of War and ally of the rich and the ruler.

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Posted in Barack Obama, Christianity, Christianofascism, Constantinianism, John McCain, politics, Romans | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Introducing Majutsu, My Husband

Posted by honestpoet on March 6, 2007

He posted this in a comment to my last post, but I thought this deserved to be read on its own:

You know what’s really funny? That this show [“The Lost Tomb of Jesus”] was widely watched and has generated a lot of curiosity and interest in jesus and his teachings. This interest has been generated in precisely those far removed from christ, such as atheists, the very nihilistic, those least reached in the last twenty or so years. If a christian cared about lost souls, they would approach this like follows, “It’s good to see you so excited about jesus the man. Don’t you wonder now what he taught and why so many base their life on his teachings? Why don’t you come to our church and talk about jesus and his life?” Oddly enough though, at a time when a couple hundred thousand to a million people, formerly very closed to god and christ, were opened up all at once and thirsting for knowledge about the teachings of jesus, how were they rewarded? By being reminded in the press and blogs that christians could give two shits about saving people. They want to condemn, to damn to eternal fire, the producer, the archaeologist, the network. . . They were reminded that christians want only to micro-control thought and other people’s lives. The proof is the opportunity for dialog that was lost — ignored. We may conclude from this that there is apparently no christian joy or close relationship with the divine to share. There really is only perpetual hatred and a false sense of self built on enjoying, with fantastic embellished imagery, the control and torment of others. Christianity is after the religion of the Roman Empire, the worship of jesus and the holy roman emperor in rome as divine. And the Romans were the Nazis of the ancient world. True to their heritage as cruel tyrants, the faithful christians walled themselves up, covering their eyes and ears, shrieking that their sole possession, their tattered rags of borrowed thoughts, was being dragged into the street, leaking out of the control of their balled little fists. Unfortunately for the christian, if there is a god, she sends rain down to the good and the evil. To wish your neighbor to be parched and dying of thirst every time it rains means that with every single drop that falls you again fail the ultimate test of faith, to be willing to be part of this one life, this being. This is the sort of sin that really matters, not violating undecipherable precepts of rotting books.

Ain’t that the truth.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, atheism, Christianity, Christianofascism, fundamentalism, history, Jesus, mental illness, politics, prayer, ridiculous beliefs, Romans, science, secular humanism, separation of church and state, the Bible | 5 Comments »

More on the Lost Tomb of Jesus

Posted by honestpoet on March 6, 2007

Here’s what I found most compelling:

First of all, the names. They were pretty convincing, and in forms surprising enough that I don’t think a forger would have thought of them. (BTW, I love that Jesus named his son Judas. I always thought, even before learning of the Gospel of Judas, that he and Judas were actually pretty tight. I wrote a poem years ago called “Brother Judas” that paints the vilified disciple in a very sympathetic light.)

The symbol above the entrance of the tomb (a chevron with a circle inside it) which is repeated on Simon Peter’s ossuary at a separate site.

For me, there’s no question that this is the tomb of Jesus and his family. I think it’s a little crazy to pretend that it’s not. But then, religious people have always amazed me with their insane ability to deny reality.

Questions that remain for me:

How long is it going to take for people to accept this and allow it to change their minds?

What was Jesus really about? I’m planning on reading some of the gnostic gospels to see if Jesus’ teaching had any validity in terms of a useful world-view (I consider the Bible to be nothing but Roman propaganda, so it’s not a valid source). Or was he simply another con-man? Where’d he get the money for that tomb, anyway? “There will be poor always.” Yeah. So was he taking donations? And how much? Religion, it seems, has always been about making money for nothing. So as excited as my husband was about the idea of atheist Christianity, I’m not sure that would serve any purpose. I still think that science and ethics (secular humanism) are a better way to approach life than any thoughts of someone who lived back when they had no idea of what reality really is, no matter how nice that person may have been.

And when are we going to tear down the Vatican and return all that gold to the countries it rightfully belongs to?

Posted in atheism, Christianity, fundamentalism, history, Jesus, politics, Romans, science, secular humanism, separation of church and state, the Bible | 7 Comments »

Sheepish Pope says “Sorry ‘Bout All That”

Posted by honestpoet on March 1, 2007

HA! As if. No, I think the Catholics are going to have the hardest time with this whole dead-Jesus thing. I said that creed over and over as a kid. It doesn’t hem and haw about the resurrection.

But it seems the protestants, or at least some of them, are being pretty flexible. My husband just came home from work, and guess what? He spoke with about ten Christians from a variety of sects and it seems that at their Wed. night sermons they were all told by their respective preachers about the discovery, and that it’s okay, that they never really believed in a physical resurrection, and they actually used the word “metaphor” (and while they were talking about things, they never said that evolution couldn’t be the process God used to make us), and they were suddenly curious about the difference between “agnostic” and “atheist,” and just what did he believe, anyway? (Just yesterday, in the course of patient management, he discovered from one of the counselors that he and I are known at the national level among televangelists to be “notorious atheists.”) He had really frank discussions, open-hearted, open-minded, and it seems a new day is dawning, at least in this town.

Of course I’m not saying he’s open-minded about theism. At some point you have to make up your mind, and we have. No, just open-minded about their ability to change and the possibility of the existence of a historical Jesus.

And I have to say that I’m really glad to suspect that he did exist (not that I think the events of the gospel are real…those are clearly ripped off from earlier myths…poetic license and all that).

When I was a girl I was in love with the man. My first holy communion was like a wedding. I was going to be a nun (until my hormones kicked in, that is). I wanted to be a saint. I’m not kidding.

And it wasn’t to get to heaven.

And it wasn’t about his alleged sacrifice (which is now being interpreted metaphorically as God having taken on the suffering of a human life, which, if you think about it, is much more painful than a quick crucifixion).

No. It was what he taught.

See, I was one of those kids who rescued bugs out of spider webs (I’m sure none of the spiders starved…I lived in Florida), painstakingly picking off the sticky bits of thread ’til the little thing could fly away. I hated suffering, other peoples’ even more than my own. I really hated injustice (still not fond of either). And I just couldn’t understand why people wouldn’t be nice to each other.

So the words of Jesus made me love him. (I’m lucky enough to have found a man just that kind.) I’m totally open to (and happy about) the possibility of once again honoring his name.

But I still do not believe that mind came before matter. One of his co-workers, when asked why she believes, even now, that there is a god, that mind was the source of matter and not vice-versa, responded that she just doesn’t WANT matter to have come first. But we know what I say about that sort of thing: wanting something does not make it so.

See, here’s the crux of the whole god/no-god thing. If you keep the god concept then you allow for magical thinking (it would be pretty magical for a non-corporeal mind to exist, outside of time, and create matter out of nothing, don’t you think?), like this thing in Jacksonville. Instead of working to erase the underlying problems that lead to crime, the city held a prayer rally.

And this sort of inaction goes on every day, everywhere, but nowhere so much and so often as here in America.

Worse, the god-concept poses the concept of god’s will, and the delusion that one could possibly know what that is. We are so easily misled by the ego or what’s even less conscious than that, our animal urges. How many people have died now at the hand of someone who imagined he was doing the will of god or allah? My husband himself saw a patient (unfortunately she didn’t accept treatment) who thought she was being tested by God (a real Abraham complex) and shot and killed her two grand-daughters.

When I say religion can be toxic, folks, I’m not kidding.

It’s also been very good medicine for some people, especially addicts.

But I don’t take my neighbor’s insulin, and I wouldn’t expect you to take my medicine.

Matter, for all we know, has always been here, expanding and contracting in an endless series of bangs and crunches. For all we know, each time consciousness arises given sufficient complexity. Or maybe this is the first time. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we are here, we are free, and we are all suffering humans struggling to survive and cope and maybe even achieve some small measure of joy.

I know love helps a lot. Jesus taught me that. I forgot it for a while, and then my husband reminded me. (I’m pretty thrilled now that they might be friends again.)

I don’t know how long it’s going to take the rest of the world to achieve the sort of amiable acceptance my husband found at work today. I’m pretty sure most of my town at least will be following suit (they do seem to toe the line, so if this is the official story, well, cool). I’m pretty sure our lives might, in a sense, be getting better. I’ve felt somewhat like a hostage in my own home with the prevailing intolerance.

But my husband’s practice is going to be pretty busy, I think. He’s been trolling the blogosphere, taking the pulse, as it were. There are clearly a large number of fundamentalists who just can’t accept this. The level of hardheadedness and idiocy they’re displaying isn’t very heartening. Maybe they should go to church and hear what their pastors have to say about it.

Of course if they’re Pentecostal, they’ll insist the Devil planted those bones. He’s sure got a big collection, what with the dinosaurs and all.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, atheism, Christianity, Christianofascism, evolution, fundamentalism, history, Jesus, mental illness, neuroscience, politics, power of love, prayer, psychiatry, Romans, science, secular humanism, separation of church and state, skepticism | 7 Comments »

Jesus Never Existed

Posted by honestpoet on February 18, 2007

Here’s a great link for facts about the real history of the Judeo-Christian religion.

Posted in atheism, Christianity, history, Jesus, Jews, ridiculous beliefs, Romans, secular humanism, separation of church and state | 13 Comments »

The Whole Racket Started with the Egyptians

Posted by honestpoet on December 13, 2006

Last night we watched a two-hour special on the Egyptian Book of the Dead (history chanel — one of our favorites, after the science chanel — knowing one’s place in time is as important as knowing one’s place in the material order). Fascinating, and probably the first time I’ve seen anyone on TV mention the similarities between the Isis/Osiris/Horus myth and the Christian story, which clearly recycles the old symbols of that as well as some others.

You know, I understand the human desire to believe in an afterlife. My father died young, when I was in my twenties. It would be comforting to imagine that he’s up in some Heaven somewhere, waiting for me to join him in my time. I certainly miss him plenty. And if my husband or children were to go, I’d be devastated, and really have trouble with the idea of never seeing them again.

But as I wrote in a poem that’s coming out in a magazine in February, about the time I almost died myself (and discovered, to my relief, that I did not fall back into prayer and grasp at the white robes of Christ in my fear, nor find anything but nothingness while I was without brain-stem function — no tunnel with light at the end, no deceased relatives waiting to welcome me), accepting the impermanence of life can add to its sweetness (grateful for every day), as well as strengthen one’s resolve to treat one’s family as one ought, with the love and kindness they deserve.

In researching markets for poems, I read a bunch of secular humanist articles yesterday. One was interesting, about whether or not we need to respect religion. The article came down strongly on the side of “no.” And I have to agree. Especially in my writing, I will not make any attempt to temper what I say to make anyone feel better about the fact that they cling to what’s clearly nothing more than ancient superstition. The world is speeding to a hell of its own making, fighting wars motivated at least on one side by religious intolerance (while many Americans may feel intolerance toward Islam, I don’t believe that’s the actual motivation of the adminstration…I think it has a lot more to do with that god of money, Mammon). I don’t believe Jesus even existed. And Muhammad was clearly a bi-polar nut who justified his bloody wars with spoutings of recycled stories picked up from traders in the desert. And why the hell is half the world held captive by the scriptures of some Semitic tribe who decided a few thousand years ago that they were the chosen people? Most of the Old Testament seems to me to be a lot of rationalization for killing and looting, not to mention a land-grab that covers pretty much the entire Middle East.

Allah is a moon god, and Jehovah’s the god of thunder, and their representatives have been killing each other for centuries. And thanks to the frickin’ Romans and their revisionist histories, all of Europe (and now the Americas) are caught up in this mess via the allegedly Holy Church.

We watched the Terry Jones miniseries on the history chanel some weeks ago, about the so-called barbarians. The episode that intrigued me most was the one on the Celts, and not only because I’ve got a lot of ancestry from those folks. What really amazed me was the advanced and egalitarian society they had before the Romans “civilized” them. Their legal code gave equal rights to women (women were second-class citizens in Rome, practically property), and protected children, the elderly, and the mentally handicapped, which seems pretty enlightened to me. The “civilized” Romans threw unwanted babies on the garbage heap. Egads.

Back to the Egyptians and their scrolls, I learned last night that those Egyptian priests really had quite a racket going. A scroll (to be buried with you to guide you through the trials of the afterlife) would cost a royal scribe half a year’s salary. This morning my husband joked about needing one. I said, “Yeah, you gonna spend $75K on it?” He said he figured if Bibles cost that much, there’d be a lot more folks around here reconsidering the whole church thing.

Posted in atheism, Egyptians, history, Jews, Muslims, Romans, skepticism | 23 Comments »